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Current: 1987 560 SEC US, former factory trained MB tech 10 years, owner of 14 others.
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have an 87 560 sec, it appears to be the original finish. Paint is sound, but very oxidized. Color is Arctic White.

After briefly reading the amazing wealth of knowledge here, I have determined the following rudimentary steps;

Remove wax with a Dawn and water wash

Clay entire veicle with 5 parts water, 1 part woolite as lubricant, turn clay frequently and feel surface, do a 2x2 section at a time, keep it wet, always, and just float surface, do not press down. ?

Rotary buffer (got one) foam pad or terry? Polish with Meguiars #4 or?

Wax with carnuba at least one coat.

Am I close here, professionals? Input and additional information requested; :bow:

Thanks!
 

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2005 230 Kompressor
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341 Posts
Your outline is a good start. I would suggest using a foam pad, somewhere in the 6" range for the best control. Always dampen the pad with a little detailing spray prior to application to help distribute the product. If you plan to remove by hand use a good quality microfiber cloth, and while terry is ok, it is not the best choice.

If you have scratches or oxidation issues, I would also suggest a good paint cleaner/treatment product as a step prior to the final wax to remove everything else the clay bar does not catch. Clay does great to remove grime and pollution on the paint, but it will not take out scratches, so a cleaner is a good pre-treatment step before the final waxing process.

If you are going to use a natural wax, make sure it is a quality product, and there are a number of recommendations from members on this particular forum to help make your decision. You might also look into some of the new poly-sealers/cleaners such as the Klasse products, or Menzerna as an alternative. Some suggest to just stick with wax for older paint, but some of the new stuff really works well too. Technology has improved the car care quality across the board, and increased the number of options you have to choose from.

Autopia.com is a great site for car care info. Make sure you have the car in a shady cool place as it will be much easier to "wax on, wax off". And if you plan to do this right it will take the better part of a day, so give yourself enough time to complete each step throughly. Good luck.
 

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Current: 1987 560 SEC US, former factory trained MB tech 10 years, owner of 14 others.
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723 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Mark, thanks very much for your finessing my amateur knowledge of the subject.

I will confess, even though winning awards for my restorations and painting of motorcycles such as Nortons and an 85 500 SEL US in Atlanta about 15 years ago with the complete glasurit system, I have much to learn.

My 500 was a tank to hand-finish. I hand-blocked and primed every inch of it in my garage. Primer was with an Iwata laser-cut tip finish gun opened up. My ventilation was simple house fans with furnace filters for positive ventilation (from the laundry room windows) and a garage door 1 1/2 inches off the ground with a wet floor for exit and overspray. Worked perfectly.

I as probably others, have never really investigated nor pursued the restoration of degraded finishes as mine were typically fine by concientious prior and current care. The older cars with salvageable finishes are another matter entirely. At least I am clear-cracking exempt due to the arctic white color.

I suspect that detailers will have a reasonable renaissance, as both new car dealers and private individuals will both investigate their own options regarding maintaining both the beauty and integrity of value preservation. Just a hunch.

A great detail is a valuable investment, by yourself or professionally. The same as new paint on your house, as many of these masterpieces cost the same as new as one back in the day.
 

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2000 ML 320
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65 Posts
if you're using a rotary make sure you tape off all the moldings and edges you don't want to hit with it and careful not to burn thru the paint
 

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1991 560 SEL / 1991 300te 4matic / 2000 e320 4matic wagon
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363 Posts
You are on the right track but i have some suggestions.

Do not use wooliet as a clay lube. just buy the meguiars or mothers clay kit from autozone, wallmart ect. The kit comes with everything you need. You will have to do some serious polishing afterwards, but the claying step is important because it ensures you have a clean surface to polish out. Even if you wash it with Dawn, there will still be a lot of bonded contaminates that make the paint feel not "smooth as glass" like it should and that is huge when polishing.

Straight up i can tell you, that your paint needs to be compounded. I have a 1991 560sel in artic white that was very beat when i bought it. Mercedes paint is hard which means you need an aggressive set up to remove oxidation, swirls, scratches and all other paint sins.

Take your rotary, get a wool cutting pad and a compound such as M105, Menzerna Power Gloss, or Optimum Compound and go to town between 1500-1800 rpm. The compounding will get rid of the oxizidation and swirls, but the finished should be refined with at least one other step before wax or LSP (last step product). A polish like menzerna 106ff, meguiars #82, or optimum polish on a foam polishing pad or finishing pad worked around 1200-1500 will leave a great gloss that is begging for the final wax.

This is what the roof of my 560 looked like, you can see a huge difference, polished and not polished.


For final wax, don't cheap out after all that hard work. For great protection use collinite 476s, for great looks something like p21s.

autopia.org and autogeek.net are great sources.

Best of luck! Ask questions, we are here to help :thumbsup:
 
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